3 Amigos  feat. Roger Clyne, Johnny Hickman, Jim Dalton

A third generation Arizonan, songwriter Roger Clyne regularly bares his soul in rock 'n' roll originals that are often tinted with Southwest influences: a verse in Spanish here or a line about a desert landscape there. However, ¡ Americano! takes Clyne's experiences a step further and combines his popular lyrical style with an energetic rage of an album, reaffirming years of blood, sweat and tours.

Though neither of his parents are particularly arts-focused -- his mother is a schoolteacher, his father a cowboy and rancher -- Clyne and his brother, now a sculptor, are deeply creative. Early on, Clyne had a musical bent and by the age of five was writing songs and singing them a capella into his father's tape recorder. His parents divorced when he was in grade school and Clyne commuted between Tempe and his father's ranch southeast of Tucson, seamlessly changing from a city-smart skateboarding punk to a horse-crazed desert rat with each visit.

Clyne was an excellent student who participated in school musicals and choir but nonetheless, enjoyed tweaking the power structures of his high school community and rebelling accordingly. He kept a journal which served as his "psychic dumpster," listened to David Bowie and Camper Van Beethoven, and prided himself on his "outsider" status, especially when he transferred from a Catholic program to a public high school in 11 th grade. A road trip with buddies to Los Angeles in his junior year inspired him to start a band that played Ramones and Aerosmith covers and quickly became a popular act in the Tempe all-ages clubs.

Music did not truly become central to Clyne's life until he entered Arizona State University. In yet another contrast, Clyne pursued his psychology and anthropology degrees while playing in a string of college rock bands until he put together The Mortals in his sophomore year. Playing covers of R.E.M., The Clash and The Violent Femmes , Clyne began weaving his originals into the band's set list. Soon, requests for his songs outnumbered those for covers and The Mortals started opening for top-tier local bands including Dead Hot Workshop and the Gin Blossoms, as well as the nationally known Goo Goo Dolls. In his final college years, Clyne and several others -- including a reggae band -- moved into a commune-style apartment that became a center for philosophical, music-charged gatherings.

At around the same time, The Mortals (with a few lineup changes) became The Refreshments. Fueled by a multi-month hiatus at his father's serene ranch with his best friend Michael and girlfriend (and future wife) Alisa, Clyne penned many of the songs that would become the basis for The Refreshments' first album Wheelie , released in 1994. The band played South by Southwest in 1995 and was quickly signed by Mercury Records. P.H. Naffah was auditioned to replace the band's departing drummer and almost immediately, the group began writing and recording the songs for Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy . Released in 1995, the disc was Radio & Record's ninth Best-Selling Debut Album of the Year, went to #1 on Billboard's Heatseeker Chart and spawned two popular radio hits, Banditos and D own Together . Mass-market adulation seemed imminent as The Refreshments performed on national late-night shows and Clyne wrote and performed the King of the Hill theme song with the band. Though the Refreshments released The Bottle & Fresh Horses in 1996, their efforts went unsupported by a changed label management and the band eventually disbanded in 1998.

Seeking a respite and inspiration, Clyne and Naffah twice scaled California's 14,000-foot peak Mt. Shasta and took a weeklong sojourn through their favorite Arizona desert. They then returned to the Phoenix club circuit and began playing happy hours as a duo. Over several months, they added lead guitarist Scotty Johnson (who eventually left the band in 2002), bassist Danny White and guitarist Steve Larson and officially became Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers.

Clyne is as passionate and pure about his music as he is about his dedication to his wife and three children. In both worlds, he's matured and become more sure and committed to his purpose. The band's web site tracks hundreds of postings by fans that laud Clyne as one of the greatest, albeit under-recognized, songwriters of his generation. The proverbial roller coaster continues to run, but with the advance critical and fan praise of ¡ Americano!, Clyne may soon have to get accustomed to a lot more attention.


Hickman is best known for co-founding the band Cracker. His fiery lead guitar sound and spirited co-writing give flavor to that band's alternative radio hits, including Teen Angst, Low, Get Off This, and Eurotrash Girl. Cracker, founded in 1991 with childhood friend David Lowery, has nine full-length releases to date. Kerosene Hat (1994) remains an alternative music collection staple. Lowery and Hickman together are seen as godfathers of the alternative music scene, who turned gently away from plaid-clad grunge in the 1990s with more countrified and bluesy stylings. Their collaboration with the jam-band Leftover Salmon in 2003 further proved that no one genre could contain them. Cracker's most recent album, Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey (2009), garnered indie press rave reviews, with the song "Tune In, Turn On, Drop Out" finding its way into the soundtrack for the cult TV hit Californication.

Jim Dalton is a Colorado-based singer, songwriter, and musician. Dalton is the lead guitarist for the Tempe, Arizona rock band, Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers, which formed after the break-up of The Refreshments in 1998. He also fronts the Denver-based alt-country band the Railbenders, and co-founded the Hickman-Dalton Gang with Johnny Hickman of Cracker fame. His live solo shows are known for their loose, fun, sometimes serious, and bawdy nature.

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